Thursday, May 1, 2008


So, I've been thinking...
I've been carrying a concern for a number of months now. I read in the news awhile back that a recession is expected and the economy isn’t doing well, so the government has decided to send out “economic stimulus” checks to most Americans. As the discussion was taking place in Congress, both sides had to concede things in order to come to agreement. I was saddened to read that “calls for increases in food stamps and an extension of unemployment compensation” were dropped as part of the agreement.

I had to wonder: is more consumerism, buying worthless stuff, and going into more debt really going to help the economy?

My husband and I were stopping by a store the other day and saw flyers all over advertising an “economic stimulus plan.” Buy $750 worth of stuff and get no interest and no payments for a year.

As I read about the plans for these economic stimulus checks months ago, I wondered what I could do with the money. Did I really need it? I don’t feel that I’ve been affected much by the economy and I’m doing okay financially. But what about those living in poverty around me? $600 will help them right now, but it won’t pull them out of poverty. So I began to think of all the places this money could be given: to support food banks, programs and housing for the homeless, and so forth. And then I thought, what if a lot of other people also decided they didn’t need the money and they also passed the money on to worthy causes? What a statement we could make!

I am pleased to read that there are plenty of people who aren’t planning a shopping spree with their checks. People are considering saving the money and investing it, or paying off credit card or school loan debts. Considering the debt many Americans are in and our lack of saving, this is a wise idea.

The IRS will begin sending checks and automatic deposits on May 2nd.

My hope is that people will think about these checks. Do we really need the money? Is there someone or some local charity that needs it more than we do? Can we save some and give away the rest? Can we give it all away? If we are able, can we use this money for something better than a new electronic gadget or a new designer outfit?

We're still planning what to do with the funds we receive - which should arrive on the 16th.
Will you consider what you can do with yours?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We were just discussing our economic stimulus riches. The Earthcare Committee of the Iowa Yearly Meeting thought about pooling our resources and contributing to sustainability at Scattergood Friends School. I love it - that makes the money go farther. So I'm sending some there.
I would have sent all of it, but a very groovy nun I know showed a video of her motherhouse in Michigan, where the nuns, average age 86, decided to throw caution to the winds and make their huge digs energy efficient. They insulated, created better floors and carpets, dug a lot of holes for geothermal heat pumps, and started turning their grounds into prairie (shocking the neighbors! Now they're wildly in debt and not too concerned. So I'm sending the rest to them.
I don't want to send my bit to a big, faceless organization, no matter how worthy. I like it to be to people I kind of know. Thanks for asking!